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Diversity at Colby


Replies to: Diversity at Colby

  • thinker88thinker88 207 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I think the point that maddowg was trying to make is that skin color is unimportant; that diversity has more to do with personality and life experience (correct me if I'm wrong). So, in a way, it is racist if we are defining Colby's diversity by skin color.
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  • sailfishsailfish 121 replies4 threads Junior Member
    If Colby or any other college were to define diversity so narrowly that it was based only on skin color I could see the point--that would be a limited and artificial type of diversity. I don't really believe that's an accurate depiction of what is happening, though. At the other end of the spectrum, would top students who aspire to the highest level positions in business and government really want to spend four years in rural Maine at a college that was mostly made up of middle and upper class New Englanders from similar racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds? As much as I love New England, I highly doubt it. The best students know that such an artificial and parochial world would be far too limited to accommodate their dreams. Colby, like every other top college, is trying to create a world-class environment that will appeal to the best students--and the best students today are overwhelmingly comfortable with diversity in all its forms. Walk around the MIT campus someday--or NYU, or Columbia, or the University of Chicago or any other top university. Or check out other outstanding colleges in more rural areas--Amherst, Williams, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Wesleyan. You'll see the future of America and the world. For those who aren't ready for that kind of environment, there are colleges that are perfect for students who want to be surrounded by others who look and think just like they do. But I don't think Colby is one of those colleges and I hope it never will be.
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  • KiltdadKiltdad 54 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I think it is foolish and dangerous to claim that skin color is and should not be a diversity factor. That is not to say that skin color is the only diversity element a school should pursue, but let's not kid ourselves: we do not live in a color blind society. If one thinks we have moved beyond race, try asking persons of color or any kid who goes to school with true racial diversity. Anyhow, I am glad Colby values diversity in its deeds and not simply its marketing materials. If it were otherwise I would not consider plopping down $50k a year.
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  • 2collegewego2collegewego 2615 replies95 threads Senior Member
    "I don't think you have to worry that minorities are routinely mistreated."

    Hmmmm.... I am a URM and my children are African-American. I can tell you from personal experience that there is quite a bit of racism in Maine. Some people will be nice and normal and there are other instances where store employees will follow you around to see if you steal. The truth is that many of these people have had little (or no) contact with AA and all they know is what they have heard so you are dealing more with ignorance than anything else.

    As far as Colby, I just saw a statistic online that says it has 41 AA students (25 males and 16 females) out of 1,847 students. There are 50 Hispanics, 9 native American students and 149 Asian/Pacific Islander. Just google Colby demographics and see what you get. So there aren't a lot of AA students but that doesn't mean that the students are not accepting. You can have a school with a lot of AA students and the students could be very separate. I think you need to ask students, particularly AA students, what their experience has been. When we visited Colby, my kid loved it and we did ask the one AA student we found a few questions. She was happy and didn't say anything negative about the school. (I don't remember asking anything about racial relations, however.) Just so you know, some of the female students bemoan the dating scene and lack of hair salons. (Meaning, even if the races get along fine, the white males may not be likely to date across racial lines while the black males do. So it is not uncommon for the black females to have a non-existent dating life at some of the less diverse LACs.)
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  • thinker88thinker88 207 replies3 threads Junior Member
    To clarify, I was only trying to clarify what maddowg said. I don't think that the college is actually defining diversity solely by race (although they do brag quite often about how many URM students there are in the 2014 class).

    As for 2collegewego's comment about dating: there is a very limited dating scene period. Regardless of race. Mostly just hook-ups like any other college.
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